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”The Casuarina Tree” by Toru Dutt

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  • Pages: 15
  • Word count: 3738
  • Category: Poems

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” THE CASUARINA TREE ” is one of the most touching poem by Toru Dutt who was born in Rambagan , Kolkata. She had two siblings Aru & Abju . Both of them died and Toru was gripped in deep melancholy. Actually this fact influences the entire lyric……… The casuarina tree is winded round by a networks of creepers which resembles a python curling and crushing its prey.The beautiful red flowers excucively decorate the entire casuarina teee.They attract the bees and birds to pearch over the colourful foliage.The poet says that a sweet music vibrates the whole garden at night. When the poet opens the window in the morning the first thing which comes across her eyes is the magestic Casuarina tree.

In winter months the poet watches agrey baboon sitting motionless over the upper branches of the tree lile a statue watching the sunrise in the cool morning.While on the lower branches the poet finds the baby boboons playing about merrily.In the cimson sunlight she can also experience the kokilas singing happily.The water lilies are glowing in the tank under the shadow of giant casuarina tree whlie the cows are led to green pastures.Thus the gives a vivid descreption of casuarina tree. The Casuarina tree is very beloved to the poet.She says that she can hear a dirge like sound which is actally tree’s lament over the death of her siblings who are no more.The poet meorises the Casuarina tree with her brothers and sisters like a companion .She used to play under the treein childhood with her sibligs which is dead now. The poet wants to make the tree immortal like the U-trees of Borrowdale sanctified by Wordsworth in his poertry.

Our Casuarina Tree
“Our Casuarina Tree” Toru Dutt: the poetess, while living abroad, is pining for the scenes of her native land and reliving the memories of her childhood. In the first part of the poem the poetess depicts the casuarina tree trailed by a creeper vine like a huge python, winding round and round with the rough trunk, sunken deep with scars. It reached to the height touching very summit near the stars. The casuarina tree stood alone unaccompanied in the compound wearing the scarf of the creeper hung with crimson cluster of flowers among the boughs occupied by the bird and hives of bees humming around. At nights the poetess garden overflowed with the sweet songs of the nestled birds while tired men take rest in its shade. The poetess recalls when the poetess at the dawn used to open the window of her room, her eyes rested upon the casuarina tree and derived a strange kind of delight. And often in the day of winter she happened to see on its crest a gray baboon sitting stunned alone like a statue.

It used to wait for the sunrise and its puny kids leapt about and played on lower boughs. Early in the morning the sleepy cows were led to the pastures, and on the way they passed by a broad pond under shadowed by hoar tree, the pond was cover by overlapping and overspreading water lilies flowered like the sheet of snow. The poetess reveals why the casuarina tree was dear to her soul, it was because it she played with her sweet companion and friends whom then the cruel waves of time had scattered like the loosened leaves and she could not see them again; only the sweet memories are left behind; though they are sweet yet painful for those visionary hours can not be fetched back. The poetess grew old but the memories of the sweet moments saved in her mind are still young.

The tree is dear to the poetess because it is the sole bond between her past and present, when she recalls it ,a chain of pleasant and poignant memories trains to her mind and again she… Act Two, Scene OneDuke Senior, the exiled Duke, is in the forest with his men. He compares the woods to paradise and tells them he is perfectly happy where he is. He asks them if they would like to go and shoot some deer. One of the lords remarks that Jaques, a stock figure who is constantly melancholy, had moralized on the virtue of killing the deer. He tells them that Jaques watched a wounded deer and remarked that they (the men) are usurping the forest from the animals. The Duke asks to be brought to where Jaques is located so he may speak with him. Act Two, Scene Two

Duke Frederick has just learned that his daughter and Rosalind escaped during the night. He is furious about their running away. One of the lords informs him that they women were last overheard commenting on how wonderful Orlando is. Duke Frederick orders them to go to Oliver’s house and seize Orlando, and if Orlando is absent then to arrest Oliver. Act Two, Scene Three

Orlando arrives back at Oliver’s house and finds Adam there. Adam warns him that Oliver is plotting to kill him by burning down Orlando’s lodgings with Orlando inside during the night. Orlando asks the servant how he is expected to survive if he is thrown out of his house. Adam tells him that he has saved up five hundred crowns during his lifetime that he will give to Orlando provided Orlando takes him along. Orlando agrees to take Adam along with him. Act Two, Scene Four

Rosalind and Celia, using the names Ganymede and Aliena, respectively, arrive at the Forest of Ardenne accompanied by Touchstone. Rosalind is dressed as a man and Celia as a shepherdess. They are all tired and complain that they cannot walk any further. Two shepherds, Corin and Silvius, arrive and discuss the fact that Silvius is in love with Phoebe. Rosalind, Celia and Touchstone remain unseen in the background. Corin, an old man, is trying to give Silvius advice but the younger man is claiming that Corin is too old to understand the way he feels. Silvius leaves and Rosalind remarks that she can identify with the way Silvius feels.

Touchstone then tells them of some of the foolish things he did when he was previously in love. Rosalind orders Touchstone to approach Corin and ask if he will give them food for some gold. Touchstone calls him a clown, making Rosalind say, “Peace, fool, he’s not thy kinsman” (2.4.60). She then goes up to Corin and asks if there is any place where they can get food. Corin informs her that he works for another man and therefore is not allowed to provide hospitality. However, he mentions that the place is for sale and that Silvius was there to consider purchasing the land and flocks. Rosalind immediately offers to buy the land and hire Corin to take care of it with a raise in pay. Corin happily agrees to help them purchase the land. Laugh and be MerryJohn Masefield

The poem ‘Laugh and be merry’ by John Masefield probes the premise of living life to the full. The poet advises that we should have a constructive outlook in life. Life is brief and it is not to be frittered away in sorrow and despair. He advocates us to get pleasure from our lives in this world, since the universe itself is a manifestation of the joyousness of God. Each instant of our life should be savoured and rejoiced. God created the moon and the stars for the happiness of human being. So we should be enlivened by God’s purposeful creation. The poet compares the world with an inn where all human beings are temporary guests. We should enjoy life till it comes to an end and till the music of life ends. Laugh and be merry for the world is a much better place with a happy song and to live in a world that is ready to blow in the teeth of wrong. We should be always

conscious of the injustice and wrong doings of the world and strive to remedy them so that the world will remain a happy place to live in for all. We must not just rejoice but also be dynamic in tackling evil. Laugh and give no leave to sorrow or to worries for the life is short, a thread a length of span. Laugh from the depth of your heart and with optimism and be proud to belong to the everlasting and spectacular procession of the human race; a pageant with an impressive display in celebration of life. Call to mind the olden times, when God created Heaven and Earth for joy. Just as a poet experiences the joy of creating a poem and is enthralled in the process, God was enraptured by His creation of the universe; the heaven and earth. He made them both and filled them with the strong red wine; a worldwide symbol of joy in most poetry; of His mirth; joviality or cheerfulness, particularly when consorted with laughter. God has bestowed the universe with the splendid joy of the stars and the earth, we must laugh and drink from the deep blue cup of the sky; derive complete delight we can by observing the sky, the birds, clouds, stars, and so on.

The sky is appears over us like an upturned cup and is blue in color; hence it is compared to a cup, probably to a cup of wine the symbol of joy. Each and every one is welcome to join the ecstatic song of the celestial figures. (It was a common belief in the ancient times that the astral figures created divine music as they revolve.) All through the outpouring of the Heavenly wine we can continue to laugh, strive and struggle, work and drink for the Almighty shows His indication of joy on His beloved green earth. We should live as if we are brothers akin (related by blood. Here we can see a hint at the significance of universal brotherhood. Masefield then compares our sojourn on the earth to the life in an inn or a hotel. We are like the guests in an inn, living briefly, staying for a short time. We check into (birth) and check out (death) from this splendid inn (the magnificent earth. Just like the guests in an inn stay for a short time, we stay for a short time on this earth. The guests enjoy to the full, the dance till the dancing stop and the music ends in the Ball room. Similarly we should enjoy our life to the last breath; and the song of life finishes. Life is compared to a game also. While playing we enjoy the game without fretting about victory or defeat. The game fills our mind with immense pleasure and thrill. Let us play the game of life cheerfully to the end.

Study Questions
1. Which two characters express sorrow about the killing of deer in the Forest of Arden? 2. Who is the source of the rumor that Orlando may be in the company of Rosalind, Celia, and Touchstone? 3. Why does Adam urge Orlando to avoid his brother’s house?

4. Why does Orlando initially refuse to leave?
5. Which three items of property does Rosalind agree to purchase from Corin’s employer? 6. What reason does Jaques give for avoiding Duke Senior?
7. Why does Orlando leave Adam in the forest?
8. Which character from the court does Jaques tell Duke Senior he met in the forest? 9. What reasons does Orlando give for confronting Duke Senior and his courtiers with his sword drawn?

10. How does Duke Senior know that Orlando is the son of his former friend and ally, the late Sir Rowland de Boys? Answers
1. Duke Senior remarks that “it irks me that the poor dappled fools… Should in their own confines… have their round haunches gored.” We also learn that “the melancholy Jaques grieves at that.” 2. Hisperia, Celia’s waiting gentlewoman, reported that, she believed Orlando had accompanied Rosalind, Celia, and Touchstone when they left the court. 3. Adam urges Orlando to leave Oliver’s house because Oliver plans to burn Orlando’s lodgings while he is asleep. He also tells Orlando that if this plan fails, Oliver will resort to other treacherous means to kill his brother. 4. Orlando initially refuses to leave because he believes he will be reduced to begging, or that he will be forced to become a thief. 5. Rosalind agrees to purchase a cottage, a flock of sheep, and the pasture land where the sheep graze.

6. Jaques tells Amiens that he is avoiding Duke Senior because “He is too disreputable for my company” 52 As You Like It 7. Orlando leaves Adam in the forest because he is too weak with hunger to accompany Orlando while he searches for food. 8. Jaques tells Duke Senior that he met Touchstone in the forest. 9. Orlando remarks that he is famished, and he tells Duke Senior, “I thought that all things had been savage here,/ And therefore put I on the countenance/ Of stern commandment.” 10. Duke Senior knows that Orlando is the son of the late Sir Rowland de Boys because Orlando has “whispered faithfully” that he was. Duke Senior has also noticed that Orlando’s face bears a strong resemblance to his father’s.

Scene I Summary
In the Forest of Arden, Duke Senior expresses satisfaction with the pastoral life. He tells his entourage that he Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in every thing. (16-17) As they prepare for the hunt, he confesses that he is troubled that they must kill the deer “in their own confines,” but his mood changes when he hears the First Lord’s account of the lamentations of the melancholy Jaques, who lies near a brook, reflecting philosophically on the sad fate of a wounded deer. Amused by Jaques’ excessive sentimentality, the duke asks to be brought to the spot, for he enjoys arguing playfully with Jaques. Analysis

In this scene, Duke Senior enlarges on an idea expressed by Celia at the end of Act I. He raises the question of the pastoral life being superior to that of the city. This thought colors the mood of the scenes set in the Forest of Arden and for the remainder of the play: “Are not these woods! More free from peril than the envious court?” This sentiment will be echoed time and again in various ways. The duke’s speech is a satire on a commonplace view held at that time by many city dwellers. “Sweet are the uses of adversity,” the duke says; this is an exaggerated view of the pastoral life, where he must live in exile, but later in this scene, Jaques, a critic of the world at large, extends this already exaggerated view and contends sarcastically that the pastoral life also endorses the notion that it is necessary To frighten the animals and to kill them up In their assign’d and native dwelling place. (62-63)

It is evident that Jaques’ view of the pastoral life is not at all practical. However, the view is typical of Jaques in that it is a shallow generalization of the situation in which he finds himself. It is also important to note that Duke Senior, while enjoying Jaques’ company, is not overly impressed with Jaques’ philosophy: “I love to cope [muse playfully with] him in these sullen fits, / For then he’s full of matter.” This is the first clue that Jaques is not to be taken too seriously. Jaques always thinks that his thoughts are profound, but they are rather ordinary and are always generalized. Shakespeare is satirizing both views here: Duke Senior’s — that everything in nature is good — and Jaques’ — that nature is good only when man is not around to evoke change. Both views were popular at the time. Scene 2 Summary

In this scene, Frederick discovers that Celia and Rosalind are gone and that Touchstone is also missing. A lord tells him that the cousins were overheard praising Orlando; he suggests that they may be in his company. Frederick then commands that Orlando or — in the event of Orlando’s absence — that Oliver be brought to him. Analysis

This scene serves two purposes. First, it offers a way for Oliver to be sent to the Forest of Arden, where he will meet with the other exiled characters. Now, only Orlando and Adam remain behind, yet very shortly, both of them will leave for the Forest of Arden. We realize, therefore, that soon all of the main characters will arrive there, and the main action of the play will begin. Second, this scene stands in juxtaposition to the preceding scene. Whereas the preceding scene was one of pensive tranquility, Scene 2 is harsh; it is filled with tension and vengefulness. The counterbalancing of scenes, one contrasting with the other, is a dramatic device much used by Shakespeare. In this particular play, the grouping of scenes without a hint of serious movement has led some critics to compare these elements to those found in the masque, an elaborate, lighthearted, and extravagantly costumed entertainment that was much in vogue in the sixteenth century. Scene 3 Summary

Arriving home, Orlando meets Adam, who tells him that news of his triumph in the wrestling match has spread and that Oliver is plotting to burn down Orlando’s sleeping quarters that very night. Failing that, Adam says, Oliver will try to murder Orlando by some other means. He warns Orlando to leave immediately. When Orlando protests that he has no way to make a living, the old servant presses upon him his life’s savings of five hundred crowns and begs him to leave, and he also begs Orlando to take him along in the young man’s service. Orlando praises Adam for his devotion, then they both hurry off. Analysis

As villains in a comedy, Oliver and Duke Frederick rank only a degree below Shakespeare’s best. They never reach the level of an Iago, however, simply because they are never quite successful. Their villainy is only in thought, never in deed. Duke Frederick may have usurped his brother’s lands, but he cannot get rid of his brother’s influence, as evidenced in Rosalind’s relationship with Celia and vice versa, when Rosalind is forced to flee from the ducal court. It is interesting to note that old Adam, pictured here as goodness personified, serves as a counter-balance to the villainy of Oliver and Frederick. Falling in the middle of these extremes are the more realistic characters of Orlando, Rosalind, and Celia. Orlando’s discussion of the “antique world” and his looking forward to a better day echo the tranquil mood of the Forest of Arden, established by Duke Senior in Act II, Scene 1. At this point in the play, all of the major characters who are representative of courtly life are either in the Forest of Arden or on their way there. It is now time to meet their counterparts from the country. Scene 4 Summary

After we left Orlando and Adam hurrying toward the Forest of Arden in the last scene, we now meet a trio of weary travelers — Rosalind, dressed as a young man, and Celia, and Touchstone; they have finally reached the forest. As they pause to rest, a young shepherd, Silvius, enters, solemnly describing his unrequited love for Phebe to his friend Corin. So distraught by love is Silvius that he suddenly breaks off his conversation and runs away, crying “O Phebe, Phebe, Phebe!” Touchstone now hails Corin in a preposterously superior manner, but Rosalind intervenes and courteously requests food and shelter. Corin explains that he is not his own master: he merely serves another. His landlord, he explains, plans to sell his cottage, his flocks, and his pasturage to Silvius, who is so preoccupied with Phebe that he “little cares for buying any thing.” Rosalind quickly commissions Corin to make the purchase on behalf of Celia and herself, and they ask Corin to stay on, at a better wage, as their own shepherd. Analysis

The opening exposition in this scene establishes the setting for the audience. Touchstone’s remark, “When I was at home, I was in a better place,” focuses immediately on the theme of town life versus country life. It also reflects Touchstone’s realistic outlook, a viewpoint of his which is used throughout the play as a contrast to the romantic notions of the other characters. For example, note his speech in this scene where he remembers a romance of his own (lines 46-56). Most likely, it never happened at all, but it is humorously amusing. His kissing a club, his thinking of a cow’s teats when he took his beloved’s hands, and his wooing a “peacod” — all of these are too preposterous for us to fully believe, yet his boastful speech is a perfect

contrast to the pastoral notions of Silvius, while at the same time it is a clever parody on the romantic notions of Rosalind. Additionally, in giving two cods (peapods) to his mistress (an Elizabethan term for sweetheart), Touchstone parodies Rosalind’s giving a necklace to Orlando, and, at the same time, he satirizes Silvius’ concept of pastoral love. And of historical note here, it is of interest that lovers in those days would often risk tearing a peacod from the vine without accidentally tearing it open. If successful, they would give it to their beloved as a sign of faithful devotion. Touchstone, in using the peacod to represent his love, foreshadows Orlando’s use of Ganymede in place of Rosalind as a representative of his love. Finally, perhaps we should mention Rosalind’s purchase of a sheepstead; this bit of business brings a bit of realism to an otherwise unrealistic play. We are surprised at the quick financial transaction. It is broad comedy, whether or not Shakespeare meant it to be, and it is always a source of laughter.

Jove is an antiquated name for Jupiter, the supreme Roman god of the sky. The ancient Romans believed that if you got on Jove’s bad side, you might wind up with a thunderbolt or two in your path. Using the expression “By Jove!” is basically a mild form of swearing, although it’s rather outdated.

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